Clearing After Rain
"At my age . . . what is there left to
confront but the great simplicities?"
- Stanley Kunitz
A warm and sunny late May day, endless cloudless sky,
Unexpected and somehow unsettling, knowing it can't last,
And he thinks white peonies leaning against the cedar fence,
Acorns and black walnuts, blackberries, apples trees and plum;
And the way the sun always settled first in one far corner
Of the pasture, and the late years then of grass giving over
To creeping thistle and goose grass, yarrow and ragweed
And blue-flowering vetch, taking back the worn paths
The horses had made, the one path the sun made then
Grazing the white tops of clover toward the faded barn,
Painting it a deep red again, glistering on the tin roof.
He is long and far from there now but saw it clearly,
What had been, what it may be now, how absence had
Grown in his remembering. then diminished in its distance.
It occurs to him now that almost without knowing he has
Come to consider instead the generality of common names
For the commonplace, how they need no more definition than
Grass, trees, fruit, wildflowers, fields along nameless roads,
The things freely given now wherever he is; and he thinks
It is the details that never endure; and how, in the end,
Memories will not take him back but only farther away.
Poetry by countryfog
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Written on 2015-05-26 at 15:06
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